Is This the ONLY Day of Salvation?
by Peter Salemi
What happens to people who have never heard the name of Jesus? Are they to suffer in hell for all eternity because the missionary got a flat tire and couldn't make it to the village of pagans who never heard the words of Salvation? Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6). The Apostles said, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12). Yet many Christians believe that the pagans living or dead WITHOUT HEARING THE GOSPEL get their chance now and are judged now? Is that fair? Or is there an error in someones theology?
John Ankerberg a well know Christian apologist had Garner Ted Armstrong on the television broadcast, and he was questioning him about people who never heard the name of Jesus, what happens to them when they die. Of course Mr. Ankerberg believes in the immortality of the soul, and tried to defend it. Mr. Armstrong believes in the three resurrections and the belief that everyone will get the chance for salvation. We will examine Mr. Ankerberg's belief that now is the only day of salvation. Is all of mankind's chance for salvation now? in this life? and no other? is it Biblical?
Mr. Ankerberg quoted the book of Romans chapter 2, in defending what he believes in. It says, "For there is no respect of persons with God.
"For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
"(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
"Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
"In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. " (vv.11-16). Do these scriptures mean that the gentiles only have this life for salvation? Or does it mean how God will deal the heathen when he comes?
Let's look at verse 12. "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;" Jesus dealt with this in one of his parables, as Charles Hodge says in his Commentary of the Epistle to the Romans, p.53, "the Lord teaches the same doctrine" referring to Luke the 12th chapter. Jesus said, "The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers,
"And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
"But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes..."(Luke 12:46-48).
First, the word for "unbelievers" means '''the unfaithful;' των σπιϚων. Persons who had the light and knowledge of God’s word, but made an improper use of the privileges they received. The persons mentioned here differ widely from unbelievers or infidels, viz. those who were in a state of heathenism, because they had not the revelation of the Most High: the latter knew not the will of God, Luk_12:48, and, though they acted against it, did not do it in obstinacy; the former knew that will, and daringly opposed it. They were unfaithful, and therefore heavily punished." (Clarke's Commentary, emphasis added). God's people are "faithful" (Rev 17:14). The unfaithful are people who knew the will of God and rejected it.
Notice what Jesus says. The one who knows the will of God, his law, and is not prepared, meaning in a state of sin, as verse 45 says, "But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;" Jesus said they shall be beaten with "many stripes." This "...alluding to the law of the Jews, by which a wicked man was to be punished, by beating him with stripes, not exceeding, forty, according to the nature of his fault, Deu_25:2 and here it signifies, that persons who have light and knowledge, and the means thereof, and act not according to them, shall be punished with the greatest severity..." (Gill's Commentary). Those who know God's will and turn from it as James says, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." (4:17). The wages of sin that is not repented of is death (Rom 6:23). Death in this life, but also death in the lake of fire, as it says, "this is the second death" (Rev 20:10). As Jude says "twice dead" (Jude 1:12). Death in this life and in the lake of fire.
But what of the one who "knew not" the Lord's will? These were beaten with "few stripes." Their punishment will not be as severe as the one who knew the Lord's will. They were sinning through ignorance, yet they were still sinning. Ignorance of the law is no excuse! In the Old Testament, if an individual, the ruler, or nation sinned because of ignorance, they were still guilty and still had to offer a sacrifice for the forgiveness of that sin, see Leviticus chapters 4 and 5. Now, Jesus being the perfect sacrifice and atonement for our sins, died for the entire world, ignorant or not, see 1 John 2:2. Once ignorant, now coming to the knowledge of sin, can accept the sacrifice of Jesus and their sins will be forgiven them, see Ephesians 2:11-13. The same principle is applied in the Old Testament. Leviticus 4:13-14, 20 says, "And if the whole congregation of Israel sin through ignorance, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which should not be done, and are guilty;
"When the sin, which they have sinned against it, is known, then the congregation shall offer a young bullock for the sin, and bring him before the tabernacle of the congregation.
"...so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them." So once the heathen come to the knowledge of the truth, they either accept the sacrifice and Christ and ask for forgiveness or reject it, and face death. As quoted above, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." (4:17). The wages of sin that is not repented of is death (Rom 6:23).
So how does this apply to Romans? "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law" The heathen that have sinned without the knowledge of God, still "perish." Died in their sins, without the judgment of God! Notice the latter half of the verse to understand the context, "and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;" The heathen still perish, die in this life, subject to this physical death in this life, but not judged of God and subject to the second death! The judgment is for the people who know God's will. This is why the heathen received "few stripes." They still die, also suffer in this life because they are ignorant of God's laws, and there are consequences to sin, because God's laws are automatic and bless you or curse automatically as we see in third world nations like India. The disease, war and starvation of these countries are everywhere present because of the ignorance of the law of God. So they receive "few stripes" suffering and death in this life. But these are not subject to the second death! This is reserved for the unfaithful, those who know the will of God and rejected it.
Mr Ankerberg doesn't understand what the Judgment of God is. Peter said, "For the time is come that judgment [Gk. Krima] must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17).
Notice the scripture:"But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:32). When we are "judged" we are "chastened" or corrected by God that we are NOT "condemned."
Habakkuk writes, "Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction” (Hab 1:12). God’s judgments that God laid down in his law are for our correction. To show us what sin is, and to avoid the action altogether. “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;” (Psalm 94:12). This is the process of repentance. God tells us to repent and keep his ways, his laws and judgments so we are corrected, and walk in the ways of God, the right way. God’s people in this present day today, and also those in the past who have die in the Lord were also in this state of judgment.
Krisis- The Greek word "krisis." This word refers to a process of evaluation rather than an act of punishment. Vine’s writes, "…the process of investigation, the act of distinguishing and separating, . . .a judging, a passing of judgment upon a person or thing" (W.E. Vine, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 1985, p. 119). Jesus uses this word when he refers to the second resurrection of all of mankind. Jesus said that, "The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment [Krisis] with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here." (Luke 11:32). They rise together in the same judgment and the queen will "condemn" them. Again we see "Judgment" and "condemnation."
Other scriptures that reveal the same time setting are Mat 10:15, Mat 11:22, Mat 11:24, Mat 12:36, Mat 12:41-42, Mar 6:11, Luke 10:14. These Judgments are found in the law of God, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, [krisis] mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." (Mat 23:23; see Luke 11:42). These Judgments in God's law are for corrections to show the right way to live. "That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment [krisis]" (Matt 12:36). This will be the time of giving an account to God of things said, and done, and evaluated. JFB and other commentaries say its "estimating character in the day of judgment.” A persons character is evaluated, estimated, to evaluate how much character building the person needs and then "counts the cost." (Luke 14:28). This is done to become a "disciple" of Jesus, and to understand what one is getting into. "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
"And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
"For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
"Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
"Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish." (Luke 14:26-30). When all of mankind stands before God, being evaluated, these must decide whether to accept the Lord and his ways, or reject the Lord and receive the condemnation of death. 2 Peter 2:9 says, "to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment [krisis] to be punished:" "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment [Krisis]:" (Hebrews 9:27).
Krima- Krisis is to be distinguished from Krima, that the Apostle Peter used and it refers to "the process of Judgment leading to a decision 1Peter 4:17" (ibid, p.119, emphasis added.). We Christians are in the process of Judgment, of correction, and chastisement. To live God's way, to shed the old man, and to live a new life of righteousness. Notice what Hebrews says, "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
"For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
"If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
"But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
"Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
"For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he [God] for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." (Hebrew 12:5-11). This chastening leads to holiness and righteousness.
The word for chastening in Greek is “paideia” This means, “the whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment) It also includes the training and care of the body
“2) whatever in adults also cultivates the soul, especially by correcting mistakes and curbing passions.
“2a) instruction which aims at increasing virtue” (Thayer’s). This is the purpose of God’s Judgments to correct us, and teach us the ways of God.
This process leads to the decision of salvation, or condemnation, if a Christian accepts or rejects the Lord. Hebrew 6 explicitly says, "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
"And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
"If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
"For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
"But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned." (vv.4-8). These Christians if they dont repent the decision is to be condemned to the lake of fire. This is the Judgment that Christians are under, and eventually all people will be under when they come to the knowledge of the truth.
Krino-The Greek verbkrino, meaning "to distinguish, choose, give and opinion upon..." (ibid., p. 119). This again is the evaluation process beforehand that goes into coming to a decision. As Christians overcome and ask for forgiveness through the blood of Jesus and are cleansed and saved (1 John 1:7). "...the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" (Romans 2:4). By being corrected and keep the laws of God it leads to the decision of receiving eternal life. Without repentance it could lead to eternal death in the lake of fire. As Romans 5 says, "That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." (v.21). Notice sin reigns "unto" death, righteousness "unto" eternal life. Those who repent and overcome, those who do not repent, leads to one or the other! This is the Judgment of God! The time of Correction for the believer! If he sins "in the law shall be judged [Kino] by the law." Being evaluated, and without repentance, or repenting, and being forgiven the decision will render them sentenced to eternal death, or given eternal life. This is why is the next verse Paul says, "(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified" (Rom 2 v.13). This is how you become just before God by repenting and keeping God's law.
Katakrino- The word that is used as the sentenced pronounced on an unrepentant sinner is "Katakrino." meaning "condemnation." Vines says, "a strengthened form of 'Krino', signifies 'to give judgment against, pass sentence upon;' hence 'to condemn' implying (a) the fact of a crime, e.g., Rom. 2:1; 14:23; 2 Pet. 2:6; some mss. have it in Jas. 5:9; (b) the imputation of a crime, as in the "condemnation" of Christ by the Jews, Matt. 20:18; Mark 14:64....In Rom. 8:3, God's "condemnation" of sin is set forth in that Christ, His own Son, sent by Him to partake of human nature (sin apart) and to become an offering for sin, died under the judgment due to our sin" (p.119, emphasis added). Strong's says the same, "to judge against, that is, sentence: - condemn, damn." (2632). This is the word used by Jesus for the condemnation of the unrepentant sinner.
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned [Katakrino]." (Mark 16:16). As we have demonstrated above, judgment and condemnation. "But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned [Katakrino] with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:32). This word always leads to the death of a sinner according to the law of God. "Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned [katakrino] him to be guilty of death." (Mark 14:64). "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned [Katakrino] them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;" (2 Peter 2:6). Sodom was an example to all the ungodly who reject God, burning in the lake of fire, eternal death.
So basically Romans 2:12 is saying "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law" are the heathen who don't know Christ still perish because of Adam's sin (Rom 5:15-19), but are not under the Judgment of God now, so they have not received their FIRST chance for salvation, and come under God's correction! The latter half of the verse is saying, "as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;" are the believers of God, who are under the Judgment of God now, and are being evaluated, either they repent and overcome to receive eternal life, or they don't repent and have their part in the lake of fire. So definitely there has to be a time when the Heathen will receive their first chance for salvation. Does the Bible say when that time will come? Yes! At the second coming of Jesus, those heathen who are still alive will get their chance to be saved! "For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.
"And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles." (Isa 66:18-19). God will send missionaries from the nation of Israel, and they will preach the Gospel to the heathen! What about those who are dead and never heard of Jesus? Jesus said there is a resurrection "unto Judgment" "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
"And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation ["Judgment" Gk. "Krisis"]." (John 5:28-29). Revelation 20:4-6, 11-12 reveals these two resurrections Christ spoke of, "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
"But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years
"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Those in the "first resurrection" are believers in Christ throughout all of history and in this life, receive eternal life and not subject to the second death. The "rest of the dead" will be resurrected back into their physical bodies and stand before God. What do they do when they "stand before" God? In the Old and the New Testaments this phase means to "stand before the congregation in judgment." "And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation." (Number 27:21). The heathen will stand before God and receive either his correction, his law, or to reject his law, and then subject to eternal death in the lake of fire, the "second death." The book of life is present, so those who accept the Lord and his ways will be added to the book of life. When a person repents and is baptized and receives the Holy Spirit, that person is added to the book of life. “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.” (Psalm 69:28). Only the righteous are in the book of life. "And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life." (Philippians 4:3). These shall live after the 1000 years and get their first chance for salvation, and " judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." This the "krima" Judgment that leads either to life or the "second death." So there is a first chance for salvation for the heathen, if not in this world, then the next!
There is a third and final resurrection. "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works." This is the Judgment, i.e. the "Katakrino," the sentencing, the final resurrection.
Notice the "book of life" is not present. "Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book." (Ex 32:33). "
"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels" (Rev 3:5). These are they who were in the book of Life, and were "blotted out" because they sinned and did not repent! Paul warns of the fate of these people in God's church who turned from the Lord in Hebrews 6:1-8.
"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Rev 20:14-15).
Let's Continue with Romans 2:14-16 "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:" (v.14). The Gentiles even though they do not possess the Law of God, Human nature still contains fragments "things" in God's law. When man fell in the Garden of Eden, they partook of the knowledge of Good and evil (Gen 3). As God said, "Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:" (Gen 3:22). This is our human nature. We have fragments of the law of God by nature in us. The knowledge of Good, but also evil. Before the flood God said about man, "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Gen 6:5). Man continues to choose the evil part of his nature over the good (Deut 30:19). This is what Paul is saying, that our human nature without the knowledge of law of God does contain, some good. But over all the "...the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Rom 8:7). The fleshly mind even though has some good, is not subject to God's laws as a whole. Even though it contains some good, doesn't know that the GOODNESS COMES FROM THE LAW OF GOD! He's still ignorant of it! The heathen have no idea that some of the things he does comes from the Ten Commandments of God, or even knows the true God!
Paul continues, "Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)" (v.15). With whatever Good is contained in their hearts, their conscience is evident that they have some Good in them making decisions either among each other or in their own hearts about whether what they did was right or wrong. The character of these individuals is what God will evaluate in the Judgment [Krisis].
"In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." (v.16). This verse is to be read in connection with verse 13 as Gill Commentary says, "These words are to be read in connection with Rom 2:13, and express the time when both Jews and Gentiles will be judged, called a 'day', both because of the clearness and evidence of the judgment that will be made, and because a certain time is fixed, though not known, which will surely come; also the matter of the judgment, which will be," Others like Hodge say that its should be read in connection with verse 12. I believe both are correct. Since it is speaking about Judgment, the connection to both is there. If we connect them together it makes perfect sense, "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law...(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified...In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." The heathen without the law will receive no judgment since they were not called and have no knowledge of the law of God. Those who sin in the law, if they don't repent will be judged by the law of God, and those who do the law of God shall be justified before God in the day when God judges the secrets of men by Jesus Christ! As Paul says, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." (2 Corinth 5:10).
In conclusion, the passages actually show that the heathen will get their first chance for salvation when Jesus comes and resurrects them to life.
"now is the day of salvation"?
Many quote 2 Corinthians 6:2 to try and justify that salvation for the heathen is only in this life and no other. It states, "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)" The word “the” in the King James Version is actually misleading, because it is absent in both the Hebrew and the Greek.
Actually, II Corinthians 6:2 was quoted by Paul from the Old Testament. Paul is quoting Isaiah 49:8: “Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee. . . .” The Hebrew text of Isaiah 49:8 does not have a definite article. Neither does the Greek text of II Corinthians 6:2. The first part of the verse is more correctly rendered as follows: “I have answered thy prayer, he says, in a [not the only one] time of pardon, I have brought thee help in a [not the only one] day of salvation” (Knox translation).
Young's Literal Translation has the same: "for He saith, `In an acceptable time I did hear thee, and in a day of salvation I did help thee, lo, now is a well-accepted time; lo, now, a day of salvation,'''
Certainly, this is the day of salvation for those who have been called and whose minds have been opened to His truth by God. Now is their chance — their opportunity to qualify for His Kingdom. This is the day of salvation for them. But it is not the day of salvation for the vast majority. They will receive their chance — their first and only chance — at a later time. It is a day of salvation, but not the only day of salvation.
Consider also that if it were the only day of salvation in Paul’s time — then it is closed to us today. But Paul was quoting a scripture hundreds of years old. Was that time — in the days of Isaiah — the only day of salvation? Obviously NOT. Today, as in the time of Paul, it was only one of several times of salvation.
Mr Ankerberg also quotes Hebrews that says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" This is to mean that in this life only we can be saved. But as we have proved those who have died without Christ will be resurrected in the "resurrection of Judgment" as Jesus said. The Greek word for Judgment here is the same word Jesus used "Krisis." In that time God will judge them according to their works, following God and being chastened by him, so that they can be corrected and develop Godly character so they too can receive eternal life. This scripture proves the second resurrection, not that we can only be saved in this life.
Mr. Ankerberg, when Interviewing Gartner Ted Armstrong said that the Heathen peoples in the remote places of the earth have a knowledge of a one true God, and so God will judge on that, and they shall be saved. He also claimed that there is no evidence that God will judge the heathen in the resurrections. But as we have proved with the above scriptures that God does judge the heathen, and give them their first chance of salvation.
This claim that the heathen can only be saved now, in this life, and those who died without God are in hell, is a doctrine that is not in the Bible, and is totally not fair for the believer and the unbeliever alike. For the believer sacrificing everything in this life to obey God and wanting to be saved, and the unbeliever who never heard the name of Christ going to hell without getting a chance.
Saying that the heathen that have some sort of knowledge of the supreme God, are saved now? You know what that belief shows? It shows that Jesus' great commission to preach the gospel to the world is totally useless! If they are already saved what is the point in preaching the gospel? What is the point of missionary work? Why even tell them about Jesus? It just doesn't make sense. This belief is all based on the belief of the immortality of the soul, and heaven and hell. And so to try and prove this belief these preachers and scholars twist the scriptures to try and prove their cherished beliefs.